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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Matt Ridley goes to Serengeti and tells big fat lies about the work of Michael Mann and Keith Briffa

Sou | 2:50 PM Go to the first of 60 comments. Add a comment

Update - see below for link to relevant article on RealClimate and more.

WUWT had an article by Brandon Schollenberger in which, by a string of seriously flawed logic, he accused Dr James Hansen of being a climate science denier.

Of course, this champion of climate science is anything but.

However the same day, Anthony Watts posted a display of absolute science denial by one Matt Ridley (archived here).  I've written about Matt Ridley before a few times, such as here. Matt Ridley pretends that paleoclimate records are all wrong, writing utter junk:

Given that these were the most prominent and recognisable graphs used to show evidence of unprecedented climate change in recent decades, and to justify unusual energy policies that hit poor people especially hard, this case of cherry-picked publication was just as potentially shocking and costly as Tamiflugate. Omission of inconvenient data is a sin in government science as well as in the private sector.

Matt Ridley tried to resurrect an old, tired and failed disinformation tactic.  He claimed that an obsessive by the name of Stephen McIntyre "unearthed problems" in paleo temperature reconstructions and Matt is implying that earth hasn't warmed compared to the past.  Matt is intent on doing his utmost to burn up the world to a cinder.  How's that for exaggeration!  But it is probably a truer statement than any in Matt Ridley's despicable article.

Matt Ridley has opted for the Serengeti Strategy.  He's singled out Michael Mann and Keith Briffa and is lying about their research.  Yes, there were some statistical errors in the first Mann reconstruction but they made no intrinsic difference to the result.  As for Keith Briffa - I know of no-one who has questioned his meticulous research and found it wanting.  Except for failed banker Matt Ridley - but Matt couldn't tell a bristlecone from a bar of soap let alone understand the ins and outs of dendrochronology.

In any case, Michael Mann's initial results have been confirmed by multiple subsequent reconstructions using many different types of proxies from many different sources, carried out by many different independent teams of researchers.

Matt Ridley is telling big fat lies.

There are numerous temperature reconstructions of the past using a variety of proxies, many more than the "handful of ...trees" that Matt Ridley wants to have you believe.  They are described in Chapter 5 of the IPCC's latest WG1 report.  For example, below is Figure 5.7 - click to enlarge it.

Figure 5.7 IPCC AR5 WG1 Reconstructed (a) Northern Hemisphere and (b) Southern Hemisphere, and (c) global annual temperatures during the last 2000 years. Individual reconstructions (see Appendix 5.A.1 for further information about each one) are shown as indicated in the legends, grouped by colour according to their spatial representation (red: land-only all latitudes; orange: land-only extra-tropical latitudes; light blue: land and sea extra-tropical latitudes; dark blue: land and sea all latitudes) and instrumental temperatures shown in black (HadCRUT4 land and sea, and CRUTEM4 land-only; Morice et al., 2012). All series represent anomalies (°C) from the 1881–1980 mean (horizontal dashed line) and have been smoothed with a filter that reduces variations on timescales less than ~50 years.

I don't have time to research or go into all the ins and outs of Matt Ridley's wrongs. I do notice that he is swinging further into denial and disinformation as time goes by.  I think that for a man of his stature (he managed to get into the British House of Lords) - shrunken though it is by his spectacular failure in his own field of endeavour - to go to such lengths to disinform the public is utterly disgusting.  And all the people who promote his disinformation, like Anthony Watts and Lord Lawson of the Global Warming Policy Foundation - are equally despicable characters.

What do you think?

I don't have time to look at the WUWT comments, either.  You can see them for yourself in the archive here. They will doubtless enlighten readers about the madness of denial much more than science.


Tim Osborne reminded me about the RealClimate article on his and Keith Briffa and co's recent work.  While Matt Ridley is tweeting the Auditor as his "authority" once again.  Perhaps he really is so scientifically illiterate he can't tell the difference between a wannabe denier like McIntyre and real science from the experts.  It's more likely that Matt can tell the difference.  After all, he's on the GWPF bandwagon.  The GWPF expects him to misinform the public.  That's what it does and it's presumably why they exist and why they back him - and vice versa.


  1. Ha! The comments contain one conspiracy theorist suggesting the existence of "professional" clinical trial participants AND ... an HIV denialist! I thought they were a dying breed by now, but lo and behold! One has managed to stagger onto WUWT...

    Also some idiot confusing tamiflu with a vaccine (and denying the proven efficacy of flu vaccines) ... these people really are not the sharpest knives in the drawer ...

  2. One more time: MM05 had to be deliberately fraudulent.
    See Replication and due diligence, Wegman style, which shows that:
    a) Not only did they use absurdly long persistence effects, (and that takes some stats background).
    b) They used a 1:100 cherry-pick to get the ones they wanted.
    This is like measuring the average height of men in a town by happening to visit a professional basketball game and sampling the star players.

    Pat a) guaranteed that some of the 10,000 simulations would be unusually "extreme" and part b) selected the 100 most extreme in the direction they wanted.

    For a more specific discussion, see Nick Stokes' Effect of selection in the Wegman Report,

    Decentered PCA was an error, as long admitted, but it was a minor error, and as often happens with statistics, the error makes *no significant difference in the results* for this data, especially sicne MBH99 only sued PCA for one subste of the data, not the whole thing.

    1. since MBH99 only used PCA for one subset of the data, not the whole thing.

    2. You forget the "golden rule" of climate science. Any error, any typo, any bit of truthiness that snarks at mainline climate science discredits all of AGW theory forever. No number of errors, lies, miscalculations, quote-mining, cherry-picking or ignorance will tarnish the teflon coated armor of the Knights of De Nial.

    3. The important point is that a mountain of evidence shows that the world is warming, even without using principle component analysis at all. Having said that, my personal opinion is that centered PCA is probably easier to interpret than decentered PCA. Since decentered PCA converges faster, and since principle components are increasingly noisy, decentered PCA seems like it yields a higher signal to noise ratio. In a world without deceptive contrarians, this higher signal to noise ratio might make decentered PCA preferable to centered PCA even given the more difficult interpretation. Perhaps one could say that using decentered PCA was suboptimal strategy, because we already knew how deceptive the contrarians were and should've anticipated their myopic tantrums. But in my opinion any "error" lies in the art of war, not statistics.

      The important point is that a mountain of evidence shows that the world is warming, even without using principle component analysis at all.

    4. Yes, of course, but recall that this work was done 1997/1998, published 1998/1999, and they'd stopped using the techniques not too long thereafter., a typical thing with statistical techniques: try different things.

      None of the authors had the slightest idea that a minor error n one small part of a (relatively obscure ) paper would become the focus of a concerted multi-year attack by dedicated people backed by Washington & other thinktanks, the CA National Post, the Wall Street Journal, Senator Jim Inhofe, Rep. Joe Barton, and a Wegman-manufactured "show tril" in Congress, plus dozens of books, and an continuing campaign in blogs that didn't even exist in 1997.

      Remember, MBH98/MBH99 were evolutions of previous work, part of the general process that started with IPCC FAR in 1990, when it was clear that people didn't really have a good handle on global temperature history of the last few thousand years. Researchers them started working on the problem, and if one backtracks the papers of the 1990s, this was right in the path of improving analysis techniques and scouring existing data.

  3. "that hit poor people especially hard"

    The failed bankster concerned about the poor. LOL. That has made my day. The chutzpah of these cranks is staggering.

    If Ridley is concerned about the poor, perhaps he could use his fortune to compensate those who lost their jobs during the GFC which started in the UK with the failure of his incompetently run bank.

    "Matt Ridley was forced to resign as chairman in 2007, having been blamed in parliamentary committee hearings for not recognising the risks of the bank's financial strategy and thereby "harming the reputation of the British banking industry."

  4. Interesting that Ridley compares his pseudo analysis to issues with the pharmaceutical industry. Can't he just ask Monckton to dish out his alleged flu cure.

    To think Ridley once wrote respected science books. I even have a few.

  5. What is worse is this piece of blatant misdirection was published in Monday's Times in the UK, where Ridley has a regular Op Ed column. Recently in the same column, on the back of multiple states recognizing same sex marriages, he discussed how societal moral opinions can changes in a generation . At the end of the piece he speculated on what his children would find morally reprehensible in his current behavior when they grew up. Lord Ridley suggested that habit of shooting and eating pheasants (that's the bird) or maybe the whole concept of eating meat. I suspect it is more likely that they will be deeply embarrassed by his climate opinions. I'd like to think he will as well, but given his apparent aggressive arrogance I doubt it.

  6. "What do you think?" Tsss. I think the kind of fascism can be called the Plunder Ideology.
    Fascism? Burns books anyday. E.g.:

  7. Seeing as WUWT makes a Hat Tip to the GWPF, is this not more ammunition for the case that the GWPF should lose its charitable status. For it is clear that the GWPF is still flouting its status despite the moves last year by Bob Ward to challenge this:

    Lord Lawson's climate-change think tank risks being dismantled after complaint it persistently misled public.

    Any more news on this, do the wheels grind that slowly?

    1. It seems that The Charity Commission is more or less moribund with a change at the top not boding well for any action WRT the GWPF:

      What's the point of the Charity Commission?.

      Little wonder the GWPF don't give a fig.

    2. In the US, the equivalent function is done by the IRS, which in fact is where it likely belongs, since among other things ,recovery of money can be used to help fund investigations.

  8. My favorite quote of Matt Ridley is on the inside cover of Robert Wright's book "The Moral Animal": "An eye-opening, thought-provoking, spine-tingling, mind-boggling, wish-I-had-thought-of-that sort of science book." Robert Wright's book was published in 1994. Matt Ridley's book "The Origins of Virtue" was published in 1997. But I suppose correlation does not prove causation.

  9. Blogs like this only serve to show how hopelessly naive are CACC useful idiots. Hansen is a quack, pure and simple. Comparing his predictions to IPCC scenarios immediately shows that Monckton and Axel-Morner are more in line with the IPCC than Hansen: A-M's zero SLR is closer to IPCC figures than Hansen's 5m.

    Extrapolating from present (linear) trends we get 20-30cm rise this century. IPCC introduces as yet unseen acceleration for about 1m. Hansen is sure West Antarctica will melt, for 5m. 15 years of pause haven't slowed him down a bit.

    Much is made over the rapid melting of Jorge Montt Glacier; much is suppressed about how it uncovers MWP forest. The hockeystick, on which Hansen et al base their T/SLR alarm, is proven once again to be pure BS. --AGF

    1. Sorry, reading the IPCC report before spouting off is probably asking too much. Understanding the caveats that Hansen puts on his prediction is probably also too hard, again means reading stuff.

      So, instead, tell us why Hansen's "5 m by 2100" cannot happen. Citations preferred, of course.

    2. Agfosterjr's comment illustrates how scatterbrained science deniers can be.

      I assume SLR is sea level rise, whereas this article is about Matt Ridley denying the recent rapid rise in temperature, as shown by the instrumental record, when compared with the temperatures of the past one or two millennia as evidenced by proxy records.

      What is CACC?

      Are you saying you agree with Brandon Shollenberger that Dr Hansen is a denier? Do you believe that Pushker Kharecha, Makiko Sato, Valerie Masson-Delmotte, Frank Ackerman, David J. Beerling, Paul J. Hearty, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Shi-Ling Hsu, Camille Parmesan, Johan Rockstrom, Eelco J. Rohling, Jeffrey Sachs, Pete Smith, Konrad Steffen, Lise Van Susteren, Karina von Schuckmann, James C. Zachos are also "quacks"?

      What has the Jorge Montt Glacier to do with the above article? How do you know that it uncovered trees from the MWP? Was it because you read a paper by one of those dastardly climate scientists? I wouldn't be surprised if you demurred. It's as likely you read about it on a denier website, which is equally selective of the science it accepts. I say that, because the paper found the exposed trees were only 250 to 460 years old, which is more recent than Medieval times.

      What have Nils Axel-Morner and Christopher Monckton to do with the above article?

      I'm curious though. Is this the prediction of Monckton that you are referring to? A drop of 0.5 degrees Celsius by next year?

      What do you think about these predictions from the various science deniers?

      Did you know that probably all scientists who have studied West Antarctica are aware that the ice sheets there are melting and that at some stage they will add several metres to sea levels?

      Are you aware that this it is virtually certain that the resulting sea level rise will not be gradual?

      Why would anyone do a simple extrapolation of past sea level rise to estimate future sea levels in a warming world? Do you not realise that when ice sheets melt large amounts of ice and water can fall in the sea very quickly? One thing it won't be, when the ice sheets start melting in earnest, is gradual.

      Dr Hansen is far from the only scientist who is sure West Antarctica will melt. Is there a scientist who studies the earth system who thinks it won't melt, especially if we don't cut CO2 emissions a lot very soon?

    3. Nothing but utterly imbecilic arguments. I somehow I contradicted myself about ice melting? Please, fool, juxtapose the quotes so I can see what the hell you're talking about. Quantification is the essence of science, and the bane of hysterical climate science.

      Why does Jorge Montt matter? Because, morons, in all its record setting melting it revealed remnants of a forest which grew before the LIA, proving current warming is so far insignificant, easily attributable to natural variation.

      It's only the most ignorant people on the planet who believe and preach climate doom. For an example of an intelligent reaction to the damning leaked CRU emails see

      Piece by piece the author shows how these fakers are a collection of the most incompetent imposters that ever cluttered a campus. Oh, and Monckton's prediction is hardly more radical than Hansen's, that quack. Everything you crackpots believe is sheer nonsense, refuted and shown irrelevant a thousand times over in places inhabited by intelligent human beings. And yes, RG Brown at Duke could teach Monckton a few things, but he could teach you all a whole lot more.

      If there were any truth to all this nonsense you pinheads espouse we might be in for another climatic golden age like the MWP, but unfortunately it's pure BS--not even the fanatics really believe it, or they might cut down a little on their weekly air travel. IPCC's worst case scenario would require raising ground level at the same rate that ancient civilizations did by accident: archeological tells grew from garbage and building debris at rates faster than any SLR of the last 10ky--that's primitive people--without machinery. And if sea level rose by Hansen's 5 meters, it would be far less expensive to adapt the coasts than to cut back on CO2 enough to make a difference. And if the US and EU cut fossil fuels cold turkey, it still would make no difference: China has tripled its coal production in the last decade. I suggest you learn Chinese and preach to the commies. It's really the only way you can save the world from your fairy tale doom. But I'm arguing with perfect idiots. Unquantified hysteria:

      "Are you aware that this it is virtually certain that the resulting sea level rise will not be gradual?"

      You call that science? I call it chilliastic nonsense. How do you know? Because you accept fairy tales without evidence or critical thinking. NOBODY can make any prediction not base on trends, and no trends exist from which to extrapolate your imagined doom. So West Antarctica is melting. So is Jorge Montt, and it is entirely irrelevant. Pinheads.

      M Kelly will pick apart your cherished beliefs much more eloquently than I can--read the posted link. There is hardly a block your edifice is built on that isn't based on fraud. --AGF

    4. Captain FlashheartJanuary 10, 2014 at 1:34 PM

      Notice that agfosterjr has used the phrase "useful idiots," indicating he believes people who understand AGW are actually patsies for some kind of political force, probably communism. He or she is a conspiracy theorist of the standard Monckton-esque variety. Tell me, agfosterjr, where was Obama born? What is the cause of AIDS? And did the US ever land a man on the moon?

    5. Please, fool, juxtapose the quotes so I can see what the hell you're talking about.

      Reading difficulties? Short term memory problems?

      the ice isn't really melting

      when the temperate glaciers do melt they only show...

      From this comment of yours

    6. Why does Jorge Montt matter?

      That wasn't the question. The question was "What has the Jorge Montt Glacier to do with the above article?"

      Because, morons, in all its record setting melting it revealed remnants of a forest which grew before the LIA, proving current warming is so far insignificant, easily attributable to natural variation.

      Now you've changed your answer from "how it uncovers MWP forest" to "the LIA" bouncing ball and "natural variation". Which is dumb in its own right and still has nothing to do with Matt Ridley's denial of paleo reconstructions and the global surface temperature.

      Again, typical of climate science deniers, changing their tune at the drop of a hat, crying "it's natural" without explaining what is forcing nature to change, and all in a vain attempt to reject the greenhouse effect.

      The illiterati reign supreme in the land of science denial.

  10. AR5 SPM: "Global mean sea level rise for 2081–2100 relative to 1986–2005 will likely be in the ranges of 0.26 to 0.55 m for RCP2.6, 0.32 to 0.63 m for RCP4.5, 0.33 to 0.63 m for RCP6.0, and 0.45 to 0.82 m for RCP8.5 (medium confidence). For RCP8.5, the rise by the year 2100 is 0.52 to 0.98 m, with a rate during 2081 to 2100 of 8 to 16 mm yr–1 (medium confidence)."

    So, why did you only look at the high end of the range for the most extreme emissions scenario for the IPCC?

    Re Hansen: As per the IPCC quote, above, his worst-case scenario of ~5 m by 2100 is well outside the mainstream scientific opinion. However, it is based on worst-case emissions, and is not outside the range of possible SLR given what we do *not* know about how the large ice sheets can respond to changing atmosphere and oceans. A-M and Monckton, in contrast, have been and continue to be demonstrably wrong.


    1. Hansen (Environmental Research Letters, March 23, 2007): "As a quantitative example, let us say that the ice sheet contribution is 1 cm for the decade 2005-2015 and that it doubles each decade until the West Antarctic ice sheet is largely depleted. That time constant yields sea level rise of the order of 5 m this century. Of course I can not prove that my
      choice of a 10 year doubling time for non-linear response is accurate, but I am confident that it provides a far better estimate than a linear response for the ice sheet component of sea level rise."

      There is nothing empirical about Hansen's hysteria, and he has to refer to his own idiosyncratic studies to make his purely theoretical case. Hansen takes his peers to task for their caution, while Monckton questions their lack of the same. In demonstrating that I quoted the extreme IPCC scenario you only make my case: the IPCC is slowly coming to terms with reality, and leaving Hansen further on the fringe.

      Why cannot "5 m by 2100" happen? My, what a silly question. Hansen seems to be the only climatologist who thinks it can happen, and you want me to show why it can't. Let's speak in scientific terms--of mathematical probability--of reasonable likelihood. Better yet, let's speak in terms of earth rotation. All that melting ice should contribute substantially to LOD, yet since the invention of the atomic clock the earth has quit slowing down--the ice isn't really melting--at least not as fast as it's snowing at the poles.

      And like I said, when the temperate glaciers do melt they only show that the MWP was much warmer for longer than the 20th century. --AGF

    2. I present the IPCC assessment, which is not significantly different from the prior 2007 AR4, and you tell me that "the IPCC is slowly coming to terms with reality".

      Then you cannot give me an argument why 5 m cannot happen by 2100. The past record of LoD says *nothing* about the future. The ice sheet contribution will depend on response to ocean effects at margins, lubrication from percolating surface meltwater, changes in precip as ice sheet surface topography changes, etc. There is no doubt that several meters of global sea level equivalent are available in the ice sheets; the question is how fast it can be liberated. I am quite sure that you don't know the answer to that.

    3. Pity that agfoster/butch can't even make up his or her mind about melting ice. In the one comment he or she writes that the ice both is and isn't melting.

      That ability to hold two contradictory notions at the same time is a known attribute of right wing authoritarians - and probably of the 8% Dismissives.

      Needless to say, agfosterjr/Butch is erring on the side of science denial and is very scatterbrained and wrong as PL points out. (See also my other comment above).

      Dr Hansen, on the other hand, has proven correct more often than incorrect. He is someone who does understand the dangers of global warming and is not afraid to warn us.

      As for agfosterjr/Butch quoting the potty peer as if he were some sort of "scientist". Well that just shows that agfosterjr/Butch doesn't know science from utter nuttery.

    4. My favorite starting point for Monckton is Barry Bickmore's "The Church of Monckton" and "Lord Monckton's Rap Sheet" at

      Professor Bickmore is a Republican scientist in the extremely conservative US state of Utah. He's not out to kill conservatism, just to get the Republican party to use real science as the basis for important social and business decisions.

    5. How to respond to such silly nonsense? Here's how: PL, please tell me why sea level cannot rise by 20m in the next century. --AGF

    6. No, I can't tell you that 10 m is impossible; nor can you. However, a reasonable "worst case" is all Greenland plus West Antarctica, so 7 m + 3.3 m above flotation = 10 m close enough. Some of East Antarctica is also marine-based and therefore sensitive to enhanced ocean heat flux, so in theory this number might go a bit higher.

      How quickly can you get this off the ice sheets into the ocean? Again, I don't know, and nor do you. But look at Meltwater Pulse 1A: 20 m global SLR in 200-500 years (4-10 m/century). Geometry of currently active ice sheets is different, but no-one knows how they will respond. People are working on it: you're not.

      I don't expect 10 m, or even 5 m, by 2100. Nor does the IPCC. But we know it isn't going to be zero, and it could be >>1 m, so it becomes a cost-vs-risk benefit equation.

      Read Bickmore's page on Monckton yet? Not a good guru to choose.

    7. How to respond to such a question. Let's rephrase it. "Please tell me why it is unlikely that the sea level will rise by 20 metres in the next century".

      It's to do with the rate of ice melt, the dynamics of ice sheets and ice flow, the rate of ocean warming (and it's capacity to heat) and ocean currents.

      There is sufficient ice in the world to raise sea level by 20 meters and more. However the above factors mean it will take a lot longer than 100 years to do so.

    8. Now then, why does not the IPCC know this? Why are the IPCC and James Hansen poles apart? Who is the denier, the IPCC or James Hansen? Where is the peer reviewed literature to support Hansen, which the IPCC must have ignored? If such literature exists, why was it ignored?

      As I alluded to in the reference above, Hansen appeals to anecdote, to subjective impression, to emotion, to anything but measurement. Here is what William Thompson has to say about Hansen's method:

      "I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts, advanced to the stage of Science, whatever the matter may be."

      Edomite wisdom literature anticipated Lord Kelvin by millennia:

      (Job 39:1)
      1 Knowest thou the time when the wild goats of the rock bring forth? or canst thou mark when the hinds do calve?
      2 Canst thou number the months that they fulfil? or knowest thou the time when they bring forth?

      Such wisdom is absent among GW fanatics. If they had any they would admit that Monckton, Schollenberger, the IPCC, even Axel Morner, are on approximately the same page regarding SLR. Hansen is beyond the fringes. --AGF

    9. You have not yet given us a single reason why 5 m is impossible by 2100. You best effort is that the past history of l.o.d. shows that it hasn’t yet happened in the fairly recent past (the period for which we have reliable l.o.d. data), therefore it won’t. cf “My house has never burned down in the past, therefore it never will.”

      Read the IPCC report to find out what they know and don’t know about ice sheet mass loss. You’ll find that they provide ranges of likely SLR, but admit to large uncertainty at the high end since the physics of ice sheet collapse isn’t known. Can something like MWP 1A happen again? We don’t know.

      And skip the bible quotes. At a minimum, see how they apply to your own view first.

    10. By the way … The fact that the IPCC numbers are lower than Hansen’s is evidence that the climate science community doesn’t agree with him on this issue and require the same rigorous scientific approach from him as from anyone else. You can go to RealClimate and find mainstream climate scientists discussing his “unrealistic” predictions.

      Contrast with the fake-skeptic’s camp. Anyone there saying “we shouldn’t listen to Monckton (because he routinely misrepresents science, modifies graphs, and lies), Michaels (who lied to Congress about Hansen’s temperature predictions), Axel-Morner (who fakes photos of trees on islands to get rid of sea level rise) and McIntyre (who tortured math to misrepresent the robustness of the “hockey-stick”)? No, these guys are "climate-science" gods to the WUWT crowd.

      I think there’s a bible verse about getting your own house in order before criticizing others.

    11. "All that melting ice should contribute substantially to LOD, yet since the invention of the atomic clock the earth has quit slowing down--the ice isn't really melting--at least not as fast as it's snowing at the poles."
      Said AGF, appealing to anything but measurement.

      Actually writing 2014 Hansen's doubling scenario is actually correct, and perhaps - what with last couple years of Greenland contributing 1 to 1.3mm/year!! - even underestimated.

      Unfortunately Hansen does not yet have measurements for the coming decades, but how would AGF discover such when he doesn't even check his 'LOD = constant'-these?

    12. RC backs Hansen against the IPCC. Surprise.

      Tide gauges: 20cm/century
      Sat extrap: 30
      IPCC: 50

      Hansen: 500

      Axel Morner: 0

      IPCC less Axel-Morner: 50

      Hansen less IPCC: 450

      Hansen times Axel-Morner: 9

      So Hansen's predictions are off IPCC's by and order of magnitude more than Hansen's. But hell, maybe if I claim SLR of 50 meters this century I can get a grant, or at least plenty of bookings. Quack science is lucrative.

      cRR has never seen a sea level graph:

      or LOD graph:

      And McIntyre has been proved right about everything. Nobody shows what rubes the CRU crew are better than Kelley:

      Read'm (the emails) and weep. --AGF

    13. But you said RC said "unrealistic predictions." Agreeing with Schollenberger then? Admit it. --AGF

    14. "RC backs Hansen against the IPCC. Surprise." Not what I said. Poor reading skills: try again.

      You don't understand the science at all, do you? Hansen's prediction is possible within the limits of our knowledge of ice sheet dynamics. That doesn't make it "likely" in IPCC jargon, but it is not ruled out. I'll ask you again: How do you *know* that Hansen is wrong?

      And again: What does past l.o.d. tell us about the future? Even in the plot you show us, what's the message? Days are getting longer (red line) but with lots of variability on annual, interannual, and longer time scales.

      Sea level: the satellite-era plot covers 20 years. There are lots of papers about change in sea level rate, many of which highlight resolved time-dependence over much longer periods using tide gauges. The IPCC states "The rate of sea level rise since the mid-19th century has been larger than the mean rate during the previous two millennia (high confidence). Over the period 1901 to 2010, global
      mean sea level rose by 0.19 [0.17 to 0.21] m (see Figure SPM.3). {3.7, 5.6, 13.2}". In fact, read all of B.4. in the AR5 SPM, then follow up in the main AR5 WG1 reference. Do you agree with the IPCC assessment of past sea level? If not, why?

      And now you're rehashing the stolen emails. Know how many commissions have addressed these and found that the denial camp had fabricated their story from out-of-context quotes?

    15. And I really don't get the religion thing. You quoted the bible at us, but don't worry about people who have been demonstrated to lie. Again, go to Barry Bickmore's page on Monckton. Bickmore is a devout Mormon, a scientist, and a concerned Republican. He should be your model as a person of faith.

    16. " McIntyre has been proved right about everything". I read your links; you read mine.

      McIntyre and McKitrick demolish the "hockey stick". Download the National Academies "North" report, 2006 (

    17. My but you are provincial. Did you know that Job is considered one of the three greatest works in literary theodicy of the Western tradition, along with Faust and Dante’s Inferno? Will I be allowed to quote from the other two? You are the one who exudes dogmatic religious fervor, and I have insulted your high priest. I am the iconoclast.

      Lord Kelvin and the Edomite bards are agreed: God can quantify, and we should too. “Possible” quantifies; it means a non-zero probability. Negligible odds maybe, but not “impossible.” “Probable” means somewhat better than 50/50 odds maybe. It’s almost as meaningless as “possible.”

      So how to assign odds to SLR scenarios, and what sort of correlation is there between global T and SLR? First the millennial (I don’t think the word actually shows up in the Bible) scale: over ice ages T/SLR correlation translates to ice surface/volume correlation. Can you figure out why? T is a function of albedo, or ice cover; sea level is a function ice volume. And ice melting and freezing is a function of insolation, that is, Milankovitch Cycles.

      SLR has been pretty linear for 80 years, allowing for annual noise, while T has fluctuated dramatically. That is to say, there is little correlation to speak of. OK, on a secular scale, maybe (dam that religious jargon), but on a decadal scale, hardly. But this is to be expected. After all, steric expansion requires nearly two orders of magnitude more energy than eustatic SLR. Did you get that? You must first pick a mechanism of energy transfer before you can predict SLR. If you can’t predict the mechanism you can’t predict the rise. So you would have to be able to predict pauses, like the one we’re in now, to have any hope of estimating future SLR. The best one can do is extrapolate.

      Of course if ice starts melting catastrophically such niceties become insignificant and irrelevant. The trick then is to predict T, and the ICPP has a notoriously poor track record at that, observation consistently coming in at or below bottom IPCC estimates. And that’s after the adjustments, virtually all of which serve to increase T anomalies. Hansen surely has no quibbles with Mann’s hockey stick, which shows no MWP or LIA. The stick provides ammo Hansen is always looking for to ground his doomsday scenarios. So when Jorge Montt revealed trees that grew before the LIA they didn’t get much coverage in the press--zero to be exact--while the same glaciers’ record breaking retreat got world wide time lapse Youtube viewing. See how fast it’s melting? Who can deny it? And West Antarctica is next. But of course it’s all BS if a forest was there first, due to natural variation. We’re lucky when something survives centuries of glacial flow, so it’s not likely that we’re seeing anything anomalous--these MWP forests grew up north too--at Exit Glacier--and must have been something like global as far as temperate glaciers go.

      As for LOD, it sets constraints on how much the ice can be melting. Not as good as SLR really, but it helps us guess what is causing SLR, which up until about a decade ago, few claimed to know, including Munk (not Monk). On the average LOD should increase 1.7ms/century, taking GIA into account, and its failure to do so requires explanation. Core/mantle coupling might account for some of that, but the longer it goes on--half a century now--the less likely it seems that the earth’s moment of inertia is increasing. Ice is not melting as fast as it’s snowing. Therefore blame SLR on heat expansion. Therefore no worries.

      McIntyre beat Mann all to pieces, except in the revisionist history of the climate apologists. And the emails were innocent? Don’t take my word for it or anyone else’s. Read them. Kelly’s compilation is the best I’ve seen; if you can bring yourself to read books banned by the priests you will have a revelation. See

      Cheers, --AGF

    18. @AGF: You've really gone off the deep end, haven't you? Tough night at the pub? Answer just one of my questions. Or, I suggest, Sou should just cut you off. Let's start with:

      What does the *history* of secular trends in l.o.d. tell you about *future* SLR?

    19. Real skeptics cite the peer reviewed literature and provide uncertainty bounds on their estimates rather than waving their hands. For instance, Fig. 3 from Shepherd et al. 2012 compares ice sheet mass trends in Greenland and Antarctica using GRACE gravimetry, laser altimetry, and the input-output method which subtracts glacier discharge from estimates of precipitation. All three methods agree that Greenland and Antarctica combined are losing mass.

    20. Captain FlashheartJanuary 11, 2014 at 3:46 PM

      sou, I would like to propose a new rule for your site: if anyone claims Mcintyre debunked Mann, they need to put up a comment explicitly addressing the Wegman report and John Mashey's rebuttal (or at least the three main points of deliberate red noise, series selection and plagiarism) before any other comments are allowed through. Otherwise your site ends up being yet another venue for these ignorant assholes to slander Mann's work.

  11. Captain Flashheart, that's a good idea.

    AGFJr do pay attention to just how wrong non-experts like obsessive denier blogger McIntyre has proven to be. Also how Wegman (also not a climate scientist) plagiarised material and altered it at the same time so it could be abused for political purposes by the hard right in the US republican party. Those ugly episodes are well in the past and have been thoroughly documented.

    And as well as being wronger than wrong, very long-winded, and unable to articulate a coherent argument - you have shown a tendency to veer way off topic, AGFJr, There are numerous articles on HW about sea level that you can comment on and remain on topic. Many of them about how, like you apparently, Anthony Watts thinks that ice doesn't melt when it gets hot.

    This article is about how Matt Ridley rejects the multiple lines of evidence indicating global and northern hemisphere surface temperatures of the past one to two thousand years, plus he rejects the modern instrumental record. He's a wanker.

    If you want to argue about sea level, do it on a sea level article. And when you do, at least discuss the science rather than quoting clowns like Monckton, who wouldn't know sea level from a mountain top.

  12. Keen to understand agfosterjr better I entered that moniker into Google...

    Several hits of climate science denial and religiosity, so probably the same person.
    Gravatar said: agfosterjr. BA UofU. MA UofU.

    So I Googled UofU:
    University of Utah

    And, in that moment, I was enlightened.


    1. I don’t know anything about U of U, but I’ve worked with people at Brigham Young U, and they are honest scientists trying to understand and protect the planet. Also check out Utah Mormon Republican scientist Barry Bickmore’s page at If you’re going to change anything in the US, the churches have to get behind it.

      However, AGF is a one-trick pony: the little original material he’s posted here (l.o.d.) is essentially all he’s got. Unfortunately he doesn’t understand what it doesn’t tell us.

    2. Amusingly, noisy l.o.d. measurements don't even tell us what's been happening with the Earth's oblateness, which was presumably the point. Luckily, actual scientists have studied changes in Earth's oblateness and found that Greenland and Antarctic ice loss have dominated these changes since 2002.

    3. I'm not surprised that AGF has little or nothing to contribute.

      The BA & MA suggest no scientific or mathematical training (but I concede doesn't preclude it). The compulsion to wax lyrical on theodicy when the discussion is physical science is merely a confirmatory data point.

      I don't suggest that scientists from University of Utah are not both good and honest. I do doubt that their Arts programme produces such scientists.

  13. I learnt today that the UK's AGW-denier Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, is Matt Ridley's brother-in law. "Lord" Lawson is Monckton's brother-in-law; the denial scene here is positively incestuous.

    1. There's probably a denial gene. I wonder if it's recessive and is only expressed when the "upper" class inter-marry :)

    2. Women appear to be carriers; there's a pile of brother-in laws involved. I think the editor of "The Spectator" maybe. Weird-sister swapping fraternity. See you, Sou, are top item on WUWT currently, alongside stoat.

    3. Yes, it does seem that way, doesn't it. But it's the men who express the gene.

      I won't be letting Bob's flattery go to my head :) It took him a while. He's a bit slow. That article is from May last year, but the light bulb hasn't gone off yet. Maybe I was too easy on him this time around :)

    4. Many contrarians I've encountered have been men with anger management issues. Maybe the "contrarian gene" is testosterone-fueled aggression, or possibly even XYY males...

    5. Never mind; XYY males don't seem more aggressive than XY males. Still dunno where all this hatred came from. The search continues...

  14. My but the BS is getting thick. Wegman exhonerates Mann? Then why does Mann accuse Wegman of perjury, in characteristic fashion? Looks like a bunch of creationists confronted by a Neanderthal skull. Ignore it and it will go away. Logs and sticks at Exit are best ignored too, 'cause they sure won't get along with the Hockey Stick!

    Well I've posted enough for the rare honest and intelligent visitor--check out Michael Kelly's link and you will know for ever after that the "settled science" has always been and always will be nothing but junk science. Highly intelligent people never gave it anything but short shrift. --AGF

    1. What the "honest and intelligent visitor" will see is yet another denialist not willing to actually engage in the science because you don't know any.

    2. AGF Jr - what are you rabbiting on about? Wegman plagiarised and worse.

      And in case you change your mind about commenting here, do get back on topic. You've been asked to do so countless times.

    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    4. Comment deleted as way off topic. You've been warned multiple times AFG Jr. If you want to comment please follow the comment policy. Note also: HotWhopper is set up to demolish disinformation not propagate it.

    5. "Note also: HotWhopper is set up to demolish disinformation not propagate it."

      Here, here!

      Now watch Junior go crying elsewhere that the Nasty Sou wouldn't let him play in her sandpit just because he broke her rules, and those of critical thinking.

      Bernard J.


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